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Fat in the diet: are we eating less fat?

MagazineJune 2003 (Vol. 14 Issue 3)Fat in the diet: are we eating less fat?

At first glance, it might appear that we are all eating far less fat than we used to

At first glance, it might appear that we are all eating far less fat than we used to. In 1988, for every 100 calories in the average male diet, 37 of those calories came from fat. By 1995, this figure had dropped to 33 calories. The trend among women has shown a similar drop. But, while the percentage of fat in the diet has dropped, the overall amount consumed has actually gone up.

In 1988, men were eating an average of 95 g of fat each day. By 1995, this figure had risen to 101 g. The average daily fat intake for women has also risen, from 63 g in 1988 to 66 g in 1995.

The reason, according to one study (J Am Coll Nutr, 1999; 18: 207-12) is that most people are simply eating more. Between 1988 and 1995, the daily calorie intake for men rose from 2272 to 2667 calories. That's an increase of 395 calories - roughly the same number as in a candy bar. Women are also eating more, with their energy intake rising from 1543 to 1758 calories daily.


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